Friday, September 16, 2011

A day in the life at Dedetepe farm

Sarah wakes up with the first prayer call and makes her way over to the outdoor yoga platform where she can actually salute the sun as it lazily rises over the Aegean Sea.

By the time she has finished, the rest of the farm is awake and the morning chores begin. We take four prancing puppies for a walk up to the nearby waterfall, which will be exploding with Turkish tourists grilling meat and fish by 11 am, but is blissfully silent and peaceful early in the morning.

We come back hungry, ready to gorge ourselves on the first of three delicious meals we eat every day. The table overflows with tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, cheese, omelets, menemen (scrambled eggs with tomatoes and peppers), bread, simits (Turkish bagels) honey, tahini, fresh fruit, and yogurt. All to be washed down with hot Turkish tea.

After breakfast we get to work. This farm is the first one we have found where we have complete control over the work we do, as well as how and when we do it. Some of the tasks we took on during our three week stay here include working on an irrigation system, constructing a roof, organizing a tool shed, making jam, cooking meals, watering plants, making olive oil soap, feeding animals (dogs, cats, chickens and rabbits), constructing a solar oven, making curtains, and general cleaning. We work alongside amazing volunteers from all over the world: Turkey, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Palestine, France, and the U.S.

We stop working when it gets too hot, which is often lunch time anyway. Lunch varies, but is always two or three salads with fresh veggies from the market, cheese, olives, some carb-based dish like bulgur, pasta, or rice, and a couple of watermelons for desert.

We eat way too much and then decide on our stay-cool afternoon activity. Our options are generally water-related:  A three kilometer bike ride deposits us at the sea, where we leap off the pier into the salty water, swim for thirty seconds, and then dry ourselves lazily in the sun until the urge to leap again returns.

The ride home is interrupted by a quick climb up our favorite fig tree, which keeps producing juicy, sweet babies for us on a daily basis.

A ten minute walk brings us to the base of the waterfall, where we swim amongst grilling and gleeful Turkish families.

The laziest option is the nearby pool, filled with refreshingly cold river water, and surrounded by hammocks. We spend way too many of our afternoons here, talking about the future while reminding ourselves to remember this perfect present.

Sometimes we go to town for tea, play games, or experiment with haircuts.

We fit in a bit more work as it cools down. The dogs are always happy for another walk, the plants need to drink, and we need to work up an appetite before we eat again. Dinner is another cornucopia: soups, salads, hot vegetable dishes, everything drowning in the cold-pressed olive oil that they make here on the farm. We will probably never eat this well again in our lives, and definitely not for free, in exchange for work which we enjoy.

Dinner is often followed by a camp-fire, singing and drumming, or just talking. Sometimes we retreat to read or watch a movie alone. Usually we are exhausted from the day in the burning Turkish sun, and swiftly fall asleep under the blanket of stars.


Katie N said...

This seriously looks like how life is meant to be lived. So happy you are able to do this!!

Anonymous said...

Can you post the contact info for this farm? The email that I found "" does not work.

Doc Rich said...

Hey Guys:

I'm just wondering how you got from Bulgaria to Dedetepe Farm? Cycle the whole way? If so how long did it take? It looks like you must have had to take a ferry at one point. Loving the blog!!

Ken (Dad) said...

Wow!! This really sounds like paradise for you guys. I don't know how you ever got yourselves to leave the farm.

Rita said...

I'm about to leave to Dedetepe to volunteer there for 10 months and aftet this post, I'm REALLY excited. I hope you had a great time too! :)